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Highest Rated Teaching Modules

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Highest Rated Teaching Modules


A Boxful of Character

In this lesson students will create life boxes based on the text of any Shakespeare play and present these boxes to the class. A life box is a container with everyday items that relate to a character. Choosing items to represent elements of a …


Do Clothes Make the Man?

Dress is an important indicator of social status. In this lesson, students will use one of Queen Elizabeth I’s sumptuary proclamations in order to illustrate what the characters in The Merchant of Venice would wear and to compare …


Exploring Rhythm in Richard III

Students will examine meter and experiment with pauses in the dialogue between Lady Anne and Richard in 1.2, in order to analyze how rhythm affects meaning and tone. This lesson will take approximately 50 minutes.


Folger on the Ramparts
Students will use the website "Hamlet on the Ramparts" to investigate different ways of producing the ghost scenes 1.4 and


"I will not hear that play": Performing a Silent Scene
One of the obstacles students face when reading Shakespeare is not being able to imagine the action that accompanies the text. This lesson--based on an exercise introduced by Michael Tolaydo at the 2000 Teaching Shakespeare Institute--has …


Illuminating Our Human Experiences: Soliloquy from Hamlet 

This lesson is meant to be conducted over a period of at least 3 class periods, which may or may not be consecutive. Teachers will introduce the soliloquy as a literary device and the themes of William …


Macbeth: A Three-Dimensional Approach

The purpose of "Macbeth: A Three Dimensional Approach" is to provide a framework for teaching Macbeth which reviews and builds on student prior knowledge from previous Shakespeare study and provides a cross-curricular …


Measure for Measure: Illuminating the script

Students will learn to recognize, analyze, and synthesize the concept of ambiguity. Specifically, the students will extend and  illuminate the text of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure 5.1, debating the ambiguity in …


Six Characters in Search of a Play

Students will associate voice and movement with character traits and develop an understanding of the character traits and motivations of the ‘rude mechanicals” as they develop a play for the Duke …


Writing a Group Sonnet:  Lesson 8 
Composing a sonnet as a class or a group can be an effective way of reinforcing understanding of the sonnet’s pattern and of paving the way for writing individual sonnets. Starting with a rhyme scheme and working …


You Can't Go Home Again (or, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother)

Students will confront the central problem of this play: Hamlet's dilemmas. Focusing on Hamlet's reactions to the death of his father and the remarriage of his mother, students will study the text and grasp its subtleties by assuming the roles of …


The Tempest: Picture Poems

Students will write descriptive poems of selected images of The Tempest using vocabulary from a word bank (a collection of Shakespearean words and phrases divided into useful descriptive categories.) This activity will …


Lesson 13: How to Move the Crowd: The Persuasive, Powerful Rhetoric of Mark Antony

This lesson will allow students an opportunity to do a close reading of the speeches of Brutus and Mark Antony in 3.2. They will …


Insider/Outsider:The Power of Language

Students will:

  • Examine the insider/outsider dynamic in the play, specifically focusing on language
  • Conduct a close reading of specific scenes, noting the langauage and actions that determine the insider/outsider …


"Blame not this haste of mine": Creating a scene for Twelfth Night

Shakespeare doesn't show the audience the conversation between Olivia and Sebastian after Act 4.1. However, the dialogue in


"I am not well": Unspoken Endings and Unscripted scenes

Many of Shakespeare’s plays offer tantalizing tidbits of information that allude to scenes, moments, and responses that are not included within the specific text of the play. For example, in


Like, Wow

The theme and motif of reality versus perception gallops—no, stampedes—through Hamlet. Nearly every character in the play has a problem figuring out what they know and how they know it. They cannot discern whether the things …


"Words, words, words"

The students will discuss words that represent the "big ideas" in Othello and that recur throughout the play. They will be assigned words to track throughout the text, recording which character says the word and in what context. (See …


Bloody Business

Students will focus on word frequencies in Macbeth to understand how Shakespeare uses a word or particular group of words in each play that form a web through which he invites his audiences to associate various meanings. Students will …


Lesson 07: Editing the Conspiracy: Julius Caesar 2.1.94-252

With multiple characters to follow, students can easily lose track of the many details in this passage. Today, students will use close reading skills to edit this piece of text in various ways, requiring them to identify the most significant …

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